Are we ‘laying down the gauntlet’ to the KRG?

Editorial by Mufid Abdulla:

The Christian Science Monitor has published an excellent article by Dan Murphy. Noting the international media’s portrayal of Kurdistan as an “America-loving, western-leaning success story”, he says recent events expose a darker reality:

“ …Kurdistan’s leaders behave much like the autocrats of the Arab world, and their own people have been chafing at their restraints amid the uprisings from Tunisia to Syria. The Kurdish government has met local protests with violence and repression”.

Dan also reports the launch this week of The Kurdistan Tribune, saying we have “laid down the gauntlet to Kurdistan’s leaders”. While we don’t criticise for the sake of criticism, we make no apology for challenging the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) when its corrupt and authoritarian actions harm our people. Our mission is to speak the truth to power. We aim to contribute to the process of establishing democratic institutions in the south of Kurdistan. While life is better than under Saddam, and there is cause for optimism, there is also much to criticise. Why, for instance, is a region of 40 million people that is rich in natural resources still reliant on aid?

Dan says The Kurdistan Tribune is “commenting from a safe distance”, given the growing crackdown on journalists by the KRG. But the Kurdish community today is international, with many of us scattered across the globe while still bound to our homeland by a thousand ties. The Kurdistan Tribune’s publishers are in daily contact with people in Kurdistan and we make regular visits there. While focusing on developments in the south of Kurdistan, and across Kurdistan, we provide a platform for Kurds everywhere and have a worldwide audience.

These are our salad days. We have ambitious plans, adhering to three core principles. First, we want to build a collective enterprise with first-rate columnists and a vocal readership. Second, we want to uphold professional standards of journalism and good English. Third, we will maintain our independence.

We hope to expand this site, covering a wider range of issues, conducting investigations and working closely with brave reporters inside Kurdistan. For this to happen, we need your financial support. Please get in touch if you can help in any way. We welcome offers of sponsorship but also assure readers that our independence and commitment to the truth are not for sale.

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